In times of Corona also Formula 1 is heading into a financial crisis. McLaren has already registered short-time work for two months, drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have agreed a reduction of their salary for three months. One reason: If Formula 1 revenues decrease this year, the teams will also feel it. Accordingly, less money is distributed among them.
F1-Insider.com has learned: Small and private teams in particular are therefore calling for a further reduction in the budget cap, which should apply from 2021 onwards. It is currently $ 175 million excluding driver salaries, marketing, travel expenses and top employees. But that’s not enough for teams like Alfa Romeo, Williams or Haas, who are already operating at a subsistence level.
They want to use the situation around the Corona crisis to lower the budget cap even further and thus shrink the financial advantage of the top teams. Corresponding savings would of course only affect the large teams, which still work with budgets of around 400 million euros. Williams and Co. already barely exceed 125 million euros – or are sometimes far below. The measure would only further close the gap between large and small teams.
But a further rapid reduction in costs could become a problem for the top teams. Because the current cars in development, production and maintenance are more expensive than the models according to the new rules from 2022, which drive with various standard parts, teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull can hardly save on running costs.
They would therefore have to fire employees. Especially in Italy, where the region in the north – also around Maranello – is particularly hard hit by the Corona virus – that would be a severe blow on the way back to normal.
Ferrari – according to info from F1-Insider.com – is aware and tries everything to prevent this scenario from happening.
Red Bull and Ferrari have nevertheless recognized that the royal box office can no longer be a money-burning machine. More than ever in times like this. According to information from F1-Insider.com, they are therefore apparently ready to agree on a new limit of 150 million euros. Provided that – among other things – the development of certain parts and engines is frozen. The small teams are demanding a cut at $ 100 million.
On monday teams will video-meet again to discuss solutions.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff even goes one step further. He suggests sponsors to pay driver wages. Mercedes sponsor Monster (energy drink), F1-Insider.com heard from well-informed circles, is therefore thinking about increasing the F1 commitment and could be willing to take on Hamilton’s mega-fee.